ATLANTA—Widespread speculation of a post-pandemic baby boom is likely unfounded according to experts in reproductive health.
Nine months after couples in New York and New Jersey were stuck at home after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, area hospitals reported a 20-30 percent increase in deliveries.
It’s logical to think that might be a product of the coronavirus shelter-in-place orders.
“I’ve seen a lot in the popular press and heard people conjecturing and joking about it,” says Dr. Andrea Swartzendruber of the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health.
Our nation’s birthrate has been falling for years. Couples have been delaying marriage and parenthood while they pay off college debt … and build their careers.
Dr. Swartzendruber and others don’t believe a few weeks sheltering-in-place will reverse the trend.
“They may be stuck at home with children and have increased demands of teleworking and other responsibilities,” says Swatzendruber. “People may not have all the free time one might imagine.”
The coronavirus brought economic uncertainty.
“In times of economic hardship and uncertainty people have different intentions about their fertility,” says Swatzendruber. “Stress is related and this is a very stressful time.”
With telemedicine, couples still have access to birth control and Swatzendruber says demand has increased.
America has had a lot more to think about than having children.
There are even experts who believe that instead of a baby boom the country’s birth rate will decline even further.